Saturday, March 28, 2015

Kentucky Funding More Equitable Than Most (EdTrust Report)

Here's an occasion for Kentucky pride: our school districts that serve the most students living in poverty receive more funding.  The Education Trust's new Funding Gaps report compares 2012 funding for each state's districts with the highest and lowest proportions of poor students and finds that:
  • 11% more funding flowed to Kentucky's districts with the most poor students, as compared to the districts with the fewest poorest kids. 
  • Only six states had a stronger record of added support for districts with the most concentrated poverty: Ohio, Minnesota, South Dakota, Delaware, Tennessee, and Indiana.
  • Kentucky's added funding was enough to cover an estimated 40% additional cost to serve students in poverty, compared to what it takes to serve students from financially better-off backgrounds.
One caution: this study is good confirmation that we're sharing our "funding pie" relatively fairly, but it doesn't tell us whether "the pie" as a whole is big enough to meet our children's needs and equip them for adult success.  EdTrust compared Kentucky districts to other Kentucky districts, but not to the funding across the country or an estimate of adequate funding.

Still, this report is a plus for Kentucky.  We're investing in all our children on a relatively equitable basis, and that's a great good thing about our state.

The Funding Gaps report comes with plenty of additional detail, including interactive maps, reports on all states, and details on funding for districts with the most children of color (Kentucky looks good there, too).  Do check it out, and do let us know what you see as important or curious in the results.

--Posted by Susan Perkins Weston

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Updates and data on Kentucky education!